Do Goldfish Need a Heater?

If you want to keep tropical fish in a tank, it’s essential to make sure that the temperature does not go beyond a certain level. That’s because if it happens, then the tank environment will become inhospitable for the fish. 

The tank water temperature depends on a few things, including the water source from where you are filling the tank. In the case of tropical fish, it’s better not to fill the tank with warm water because when the water level increases, oxygen content in it decreases. 

Another thing that can change the temperature of the water is the place you are living in. If you have your home in a warm area, you should look for ways to keep the tank water cool. Whereas, if you live in an extremely cold place, you need a heater for the fish tank. 

The light you are using in the aquarium can also influence water temperature. And if you have kept the fish tank under direct sunlight, the temperature of the water can be increased. 

Most of the time, it’s warm water that is not good for the fish. But at certain times, cold water can also be harmful. So, it becomes essential to use a heater. The need for a heater even depends on the type of fish you are keeping in the tank. 

Like, if you have a goldfish, you don’t need a water heater. But if you have any fancy goldfish, you might need to invest in a good quality heater because they can freeze. 

Detailed answer 

The reason goldfish do not need heaters is because they are temperate fish. Out of the available goldfish species, the maximum is cold-water fish. That means they can quickly adapt to the low water temperature. 

But if you have kept a combination of different goldfish together, you might want to install a heater. The requirement of a heater depends on the species. So, it’s essential to do quick research before you transfer the fish to a tank. 

Generally, goldfish can survive at a temperature between 65 to 74 degrees Fahrenheit. But certain species of this fish, like shubunkins, can even survive if the water temperature drops below 60 degrees. 

To check the temperature of the fish tak, you can use a good-quality aquarium thermometer specially designed for this work. 

Here’s a list of goldfish that can survive in low water temperatures:

  • Comets 
  • Japanese Wakin
  • Common/Feeders 
  • Shubunkins 
  • And other species that are closely related to the wild-type. 

Here’s a list of goldfish that cannot survive in low water temperatures:

  • Moors 
  • Bubble Eye
  • Pom Pon
  • Orandas 
  • Telescope Eye
  • Lionheads 
  • Other fancy goldfish species

If you want to pet healthy and happy goldfish, it’s essential to let them live in a stable environment. Changing the water temperature, again and again, can be a shock to them, which the fish might not be able to adjust to. 

You can make the goldfish adapt to cold water temperature by dropping the temperature a degree every day. This way, your fish won’t get shocked. And thus, they will start living in cold water happily. 

But it’s important not to try this experiment on adult goldfish species that have previously lived in warm water. 

What Temperature Do Goldfish Like?

water temperature for goldfish fish

The reason goldfish are so popular is because they can survive in a wide range of water conditions. But it’s also essential to know the actual water temperature that goldfish prefer. 

By keeping the goldfish at the appropriate water temperature, you will make them happy and fit. The ideal temperature for goldfish is somewhere between 20°C – 23°C (68 °F – 74°F). 

This temperature is high enough to help the fish grow properly. But it’s not too high where the fish might face respiratory issues. Another fact about water temperature for goldfish is that you should not disturb the temperature until you want the fish to breed. 

If you plan to breed the goldfish, it’s advised to manage the tank water temperature differently. To help the goldfish adapt to the breeding temperature, you must replicate a few temperature changes that occur naturally throughout the year. 

Goldfish like to lay eggs at a lower temperature. That’s why they breed during winters. So, you should try to lower the water temperature, somewhere between 12°C / 54°F. 

If you want to do induce breeding, you are advised to keep the tank water temperature between 20°C – 23°C (68 °F – 74°F).

You must never place the tank under direct sunlight to increase the water temperature. That’s because it will do more harm to the goldfish than good. If the water gets way too hot, it will become difficult for the fish to breathe. 

Which Type of Goldfish Need Heater?

Till now, you might have understood that goldfish species require different water temperatures. Like some can live in cold water, but the fancy one requires warm water. But do you know the different temperatures that fancy goldfish need? Here’s a quick list. 

Which Type of Goldfish Need Heater
  • Fantail Goldfish: 74 °F – 80°F
  • Lionhead Goldfish: 60 °F – 75°F
  • Oranda Goldfish: 65 °F – 72°F
  • Phoenix Goldfish: 65 °F – 72°F
  • Japanese Tamasaba Goldfish: 60 °F – 70°F
  • Bubble Eye Goldfish: 70 °F – 80°F

So, you see, even if you want to keep fancy goldfish, it’s vital to maintain the proper water temperature level because every fish has different requirements. You can keep two or more fancy goldfish together that share a similar water temperature requirement. 

Besides considering the water temperature, you must also research different goldfish you want to house in the same tank. This way, the chances of fish death due to stress or other reasons will decrease. 

Besides using a heater, there are a few other ways to adjust the water tank temperature. 

  • If you don’t have a water heater and are looking for other alternatives, you can try keeping the tank near a source of light. Ensure that the light source does not warm the water a lot because the fish in the tank might struggle to breathe. 
  • Also, if the fish tank is placed in an area that is always cold or has lots of ventilation, you can consider moving the tank. This way, you can cut down on the extra coolness. 
  • Lastly, if the aquarium has more surface area, it will make the heat dissipate quickly. So, fix that. 

Can You Put Goldfish in a Heated Tank? 

The simple answer to this question is yes. But this does not mean that you can put every goldfish species in the tank. Since goldfish are considered cold water fish, they can comfortably live in low water temperatures. 

Can You Put Goldfish in a Heated Tank

But the fancy goldfish mentioned above should only be kept in warm water, depending on their requirement. So, it’s safe to say that you can comfortably put the goldfish in a heated tank. 

Also, if you have kept other fish species with the fancy goldfish, you should consider their water temperature requirement. No matter what, you should never keep the goldfish at a temperature higher than 78 degrees. That’s because warm water holds less oxygen, which can create breathing problems. 

Goldfish that have a history of living outside will not require a water heater. So, if you place such fish in a heated tank, they might die. 


As you have reached the bottom of this post, we assume that you have gone through the ideal goldfish species that can be kept in a heated tank. Also, you might have understood the water temperature that this fish species requires. 

So, depending on the requirement, you should heat the water. But do not keep any goldfish species in a water temperature of more than 78 degrees. 
Besides water temperature, it’s essential to know about the diet chart of goldfish. Also, you should look for tank mates that goldfish can comfortably live with. Like fancy goldfish can live with guppies. This way, goldfish won’t get stressed, which is the maximum cause of fish death.

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